Asia is characterized as the largest and most populous continent. Bigger and better is the motto and not only in the size of the building or in the area growth; with 9 of the 10 tallest buildings in the world residing in Asia, as well as home to the highest peak in the world – Mount Everest and the lowest point on earth – the Dead Sea. Do you know the word “Asia” is feminine and it means “Sun rise”? Asia is indeed a unique continent worth exploring, not just for its beautiful landscapes but also for its massive diversity. Read other fun facts about Asia’s major cities you probably aren’t aware of.
MUMBAI – FLAMINGOS IN THE BIG CITY
Flamingos in Mumbai – not a very obvious idea, considering that the port city with over 12 million inhabitants is one of the most populated cities in the world. In fact, every year about 30,000 specimens of the long-legged birds set course for the city metropolis. Between October and March, the animals settle in the Wadden Sea of Thane Creek, a bay in the east of the city. Just in time for the breeding season, the flamingos migrate back to the North Indian Kutch. Tourists can visit the migratory birds at low tide in their winter residence.
DUBAI – GOLD TO GO, PLEASE!
It is well known that Dubai, with its gigantic skyscrapers and magnificent buildings, is one of the richest cities in the world. But did you know that you can turn your money into gold at the touch of a button in the desert emirate? There are four gold vending machines in the city, one of which is in the largest building in the world – the Burj Khalifa. The innovative devices let you buy gold bars weighing up to 10 grams, easily with cash or a credit card at an hourly updated gold price. Typical Dubai? Not quite – the gold machine comes from a German company and is now available in seven cities worldwide.
SINGAPORE – PERPETUAL SUMMER
The lowest temperature measured in Singapore since 1929 was 19.4 degrees. Normally, it rarely gets colder than 25 degrees at night in the smallest state of Southeast Asia. Because the weather in Singapore knows only two possibilities: Either it is hot, and the sun is shining, or it is hot and it is raining. Due to its proximity to the equator, the temperature varies only slightly during the day and year. This presents a great advantage: you do not have to worry about the climate at the time of your travel planning. Whenever you visit Singapore, you should expect tropical-warm temperatures. Every traveller should relish the joy of not having to worry about packing for changing climatic conditions – leaves enough space for other goodies to get into your bag.
TOKYO – THE WAY IS THE GOAL
In Tokyo, finding your way around is a pretty difficult task. Apart from the language barrier, only a few streets in the city metropolis have a name. Instead, the blocks are numbered. Once the right block has been found, another aggravating circumstance is added: the buildings are not numbered according to their location in numerical, but in historical order according to their year of construction. If you are exploring Tokyo on your own, it is best to always have the Japanese name of the places of interest you want to explore. Usually the police officers know the districts like the back of their palms and are eager to help tourists without orientation. And if you do not get to your destination – no need to fret, because there are amazing places and exciting discoveries on every corner of this mega city.
BANGKOK – THE LONGEST CITY NAME IN THE WORLD
Yes, that’s right. Although the Thai capital is known by the two-syllable name “Bangkok,” its official name includes 168 characters: “Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit”
In English, this roughly means: “City of Angels, great city and residence of the holy jewel of Indira, impregnable city of God, great capital of the world, adorned with nine precious gems, rich in vast royal palaces, the heavenly home of the born-again God same, city given by Indira and built by Vishnukarm. “ – Any questions?
TAIPEI – MUSIC BLARING GARBAGE TRUCKS
In Taipei, waste disposal is a unique event, well at least for most non-Taiwanese. The government in an effort to get rid of the odour associated with public waste disposal areas came with the ‘garbage music trucks’. In the city, there are no outdoor waste containers or waste disposal spots, instead the garbage trucks come at designated times with loud music informing the people that it is ‘garbage time’. This way, they bring their garbage directly from their apartments and hand their trash to the sanitation officers or throw them into the back of the trucks themselves. The trash does not touch the ground, spill or leave unsavoury odour on the streets. The garbage trucks play different genres of music depending on the season – you may hear Mariah Carey’s All I want for Christmas during the festive holidays, or traditional Chinese song during the Chinese New Year or even Beethoven classics on other occasions.
KUALA LUMPUR – WHERE THERE IS A BAN ON ‘EXCESSIVE’ LIPSTICKS
A bit unusual but understandable fact about Kuala Lumpur is that women are banned from using ‘excessive’ lipstick. First Malaysia is an Islamic nation but also the government believe that the use of excessive lipsticks could lead to illicit sex problems. It is curious to know how the relevant government body responsible for tracking violation of this law determines what amount of lipstick use is ‘excessive’.
SEOUL – THE CITY OF A THOUSAND SUPERSTITIONS
There are many superstitions in this big city, many of them interesting, some scary and others just unique. Let’s take a look at some of them. The number 4 is generally associated with bad luck; as a result, many elevators and skyscrapers skip the number 4. For instance, instead of 4, the actual level 4 would typically be referred to as level 3B. Here is another curious one – if you whistle at night you are inviting ghosts and spirits. And the scary one, if you write a person’s name in red, it means you want them dead. If you visit Seoul, make sure to have these superstitions in mind.
HANOI – THE CITY OF MOTORBIKES?
Hanoi the capital city of Vietnam is associated with many interesting facts. One particular one travellers will be immediately confronted with the moment they step out of the Noi Bai International Airport is the number of motorbikes. It would not be out of place to call Hanoi the city of motorbikes the same way Amsterdam is referred to as the city of bicycles. Traffic jams elsewhere in the world are characterised by long lines of cars, in Hanoi it is an endless line of motorbikes. In a country of 90 million people, there are at least 37 million registered motorbikes. It is not exactly that people love motorbikes, it just happens that owning a car is quite expensive – automobile tax can get as high as 100% of the cost of the car. So when you visit Hanoi, be prepared to jump and have fun riding on a motorbike.
BEIJING -DO NOT BLOW YOUR NOSE IN PUBLIC
In Beijing and most of China, it is considered offensive and impolite to blow your nose in public. In the scenario that one has to blow, it is advisable to be discreet, otherwise it could lead to offensive stares and frowns from the Chinese people. The country has had some environmental concerns related to air-borne health hazards. Perhaps this is the reason behind the public aversion to nose blowing. On the other hand, yawning, grunting or burping while eating are considered very normal.
Asia is pretty diverse with so many interesting facts and sights to behold- The sun does rise there after all! Contact our experts today on 0808 2746 777 to book a cruise to explore this magnificent continent or head over to our itinerary